Traumatic Brain Injury

Also called: Acquired brain injury, TBI

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel in combat zones are also at risk.

Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dilated eye pupils

Health care professionals use a neurological exam and imaging tests to assess TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. Treatment and outcome depend on how severe the injury is. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following features are indicative of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • loss of consciousness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • drowsiness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • ringing in the ears
  • bad taste in the mouth
  • sensitivity to light or sound
It is possible that Traumatic Brain Injury shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following are the most common causes of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • blow or other traumatic injury to the head or body
  • vehicle-related collisions
  • falls
  • explosive blasts and other combat injuries
  • sports injuries

Risk Factors for Traumatic Brain Injury

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • children or young adults
  • older age

Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Traumatic Brain Injury. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • always wear a seatbelt in a motor vehicle
  • avoid alcohol consumption
  • wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, skateboard, motorcycle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle
  • keep stairs and floors clear of clutter
  • exercise regularly
  • install window guards to prevent falls
  • put a nonslip mat in the bathtub or shower
  • don't let children play on fire escapes or balconies

Occurrence of Traumatic Brain Injury

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Traumatic Brain Injury cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Traumatic Brain Injury can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Traumatic Brain Injury can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Computerized tomography scan: To visualize fractures in the brain and to create a detailed view of the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging: To create a detailed view of the brain

Doctor for Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Neurosurgeon

Complications of Traumatic Brain Injury if untreated

Yes, Traumatic Brain Injury causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Traumatic Brain Injury is left untreated:
  • coma
  • vegetative state
  • minimally conscious state
  • locked-in syndrome
  • brain death

Procedures for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following procedures are used to treat Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Surgery: To repair severe skull fractures and to relieve pressure inside the skull
  • Rehabilitation therapy: To improve the patient's ability to perform daily activities

Self-care for Traumatic Brain Injury

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Don't drive under the influence of alcohol: Improves the ability to drive
  • Always wear seat belt in a motor vehicle: Helps in lowering the risk of brain injury

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Traumatic Brain Injury:
  • Physical therapy: Improves the movement patterns and maintains the body balance

Patient Support for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

The following actions may help Traumatic Brain Injury patients:
  • Join a support group: Helps you in talking about issues related to your injury
  • Keep a consistent schedule: To avoid confusion
  • Minimize distractions such as loud background noise: Helps in coping with the disease

Time for Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Traumatic Brain Injury to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Traumatic Brain Injury.

Related Topics

Head Injuries

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